Sunday, 6 February 2011

The other side of the fence

I'm 57 years old and until two weeks ago I had spent precisely one night in hospital (as a patient!!) and that was when I was 12 years of age.

So two weeks ago I had shoulder surgery and was admitted to Milton Keynes Hospital. They looked after me well and I left after just one night. And then 3 days ago I had a very unpleasant bout of severe abdominal pain which had me on my hands and knees and lead to me attending Bedford Hopsital A+E where I was again well looked after and stayed overnight on a surgical ward.

What can a doctor learn from being on the other side? A few random thoughts.
Not comfortable!

1. When you are in severe pain you really do want relief as quickly as possible.
2. Having a canula in the back of your hand is painful.
3. If you have a canula in the back of your hand it helps if it is stuck down parallel to the skin and not protruding from the hand-it saves catching it whilst your asleep or just thoughtlessly moving it. The one sited by the FY1 doctor was much more comfortably placed than the anaesthetist!
4. I was impressed by lots of checking my identity to confirm that i was who the wristband said I was.
5. Curtains around a bed do not provide aural confidentiality-I know the detail of at least 6 other patients after my two admissions.
6. I'm not sure I'll ever get the hang of a bed bottle!
7. I was shown lots of kindness and thoughtfulness-especially by non qualified CSWs.
8. I was quite happy to be plain old 'mr' and not dr. When you're a patient it's best to just be a patient!
Oh no it's come to this!
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